New York Dog House


I’ve wanted to share some love for New York Dog House for a while now. I finally captured a few shots over lunch the other weekend. So, here it is!

It was a sunny Saturday, but Chelsey and I skipped the sunshine in search of a bar to watch the World Cup. We wanted a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere so we settled on New York Dog House.

NYDH offers a thoughtful spin on the classic hot dog. The menu caters to a variety of tastes, from the “Far East Dog” (num pang topped with sesame chili paste, pickled daikon and scallion) to the “Cowboy” (cheddar bratwurst smothered with caramelized onions, crispy bacon, pickled chipotle, and house BBQ sauce). There are also several vegetarian options, including various salads, macaroni and cheese, and a veggie dog made of a farro and market vegetable blend. The restaurant also features an extensive list of seasonal and signature craft cocktails named after your favorite dogs or Astoria spots.


We started with drinks. I sipped on the “Summer Fling” – a lovely blend of gin, St. Germain elderflower liqueur and seasonal ingredients. Chelsey enjoyed the rum, whiskey and brandy infused “Pitbull.”


For lunch, Chelsey ordered the sausage grilled cheese with spicy kielbasa. She noted that the portion was just right for such a robust sandwich. I opted for the “California Dog,” substituting weisswurst for cheddar bratwurst. The topping consisted of a mix of fresh avocado, sliced lettuce and springy red onions. The light toppings and hearty bratwurst were quite delightful.


Check out NYDH’s Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for news and events.

More NYDH love:
Astoria Arrivals: New York Dog House – We Heart Astoria
Welcome to the Neighborhood: New York Dog House – Tastoria Queens

Cape Cod Getaway


It’s summer in New York City, which means beer gardens, ice cream cones dripping in rainbow sprinkles and iconic art exhibitions. Yes, it’s a wonderful season, but it’s SWELTERING. The hot air rises at the hazy subway stops. You sweat so much waiting for the train that you curse yourself for not bringing an extra set of clothes to work. Electric bills spike as window ACs barely withstand the heat wave. It’s hot, y’all. So, let’s go to the beach.

Baalok and I escape to Falmouth on Cape Cod around this time every year. It’s slowly turning into our “spot.” It’s a wonderful getaway: fresh chunks of lobster, salty-sprayed breezes, white picket fences and pebbled beaches. When we first visited, we were not only enamored with all the charms, but also pleasantly surprised to find a somewhat budget-friendly vacation. From bike trails and clay cliffs to fresh clams and outdoor films, here’s what I love about the Cape on a cost-friendly budget.

town-and-beach-motel-falmouthStay: Town & Beach Motel
Cost: $105 per night including tax

This small motel is perfect for a young couple. Restaurants and the beach are steps away and the owner is so nice and welcoming. She’s also hilarious – you’ll feel right at home.
Note: If you check in Sunday, Monday or Tuesday for 3 nights, you receive two free tickets to Martha’s Vineyard.


Falmouth-BikeVisit: Cape Cod Shining Sea Bikeway
Cost: Free with your own bike

The trail runs along the coast of Falmouth to Woods Hole. I really enjoyed taking a break and cooling off with a quick dip in the ocean. We then headed to Woods Hole for lobster tacos and cheap beers.
Note: If you need to rent a bike, Corner Cycle offers rentals for $17 ½ day or $25 whole day.


aquinnah-cliffsVisit: Aquinnah Cliffs on Martha’s Vineyard
Cost: Okay, okay. So this is not a budget-friendly excursion, but we had so much fun I would be remiss not to include!

You’ll need to pay for the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard and the moped rental. Yet once you’re driving along the coast, you’ll feel blissfully content. The route to the Aquinnah Cliffs is breathtaking, and the ridges and brilliant colors of the cliffs are spectacular.


falmouth-clam-shackEat: Clam Shack of Falmouth
Cost: $18 fried clams plate

$18 is certainly not cheap for one plate. However, the Clam Shack piles their fried clams so high in that one serving that it feeds two. Fries and coleslaw are also included. The charming shack is right by the harbor so it’s also a nice spot to watch the boats come in and out.


Monomy-Refuge-Cape-CodVisit:  Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge
Cost: Free

Chatham’s 7,600 –acre refuge features stretches of barrier beach islands and marshes. A visit near sunset is a peaceful respite.


Shop: Friends of the Falmouth Public Library Book Sale
Cost: $1-2 per book
Every 4th of July weekend, the Falmouth Public Library has a hugeee book sale on the library’s lawn. The sale features everything from popular New York Times best sellers and beach reads to unique hard cover classic editions and vintage cookbooks.

More places to dine or explore:

  • Outdoor Films – Peg Noonan Park in Falmouth offers free outdoor movie screenings every Wednesday at dusk.
  • Laura’s Home Cooking in Mashpee – Best affordable clam chowder on the Cape (in my humble opinion)
  • Raw Bar in Mashpee – Massive lobster roll is fit for two.
  • Truro Vineyard – $10 wine tastings & complimentary tour